At one stage, it seems that kiosks would be one of the earliest industry victims of COVID-19. Used predominantly for indoor dining, the use of shared touch screens was frowned upon by some and the devices themselves went largely unused while lockdown was in place. It was perhaps unsurprising then, that some thought the pandemic might be the death toll for the technology which until that moment, had been making great strides in the industry.
Now though, it seems like their popularity is once again on the rise. Far from being abandoned in the face of COVID-19, they are now seen as essential piece of the puzzle for restaurant groups making investments in their digital ordering ecosystem. While mobile ordering is being used to reduce face to face contact between staff and guests, kiosks are building upon that infrastructure and helping brands improve their operational efficiency.
Using kiosks, brands can greatly reduce the number of staff having to take orders, diverting them towards order fulfilment instead. The outcome is that more people and orders can be served in a shorter space of time – and revenues are therefore boosted. Indeed, McDonald’s once reported that its restaurants that introduced kiosks experienced an average 5% to 6% lift in sales. And, while no one wants to replace the use of human staff within a restaurant environment, kiosks can let sites operate easier during busy periods, or when they’re not able to have many servers on site (due to COVID-19 restrictions).
Aside from the speed of service, this uptick in revenue is also the result of the upselling tactics that are performed consistently through kiosks. Often more reliable than servers who have to remember to upsell while programming orders in, kiosks can suggest the supplementary items or tempt buyers to ‘go large’ with ease.
The one remaining concern with kiosks is virus transmission through the shared touchscreen. Restaurants might be concerned about investing when they’re unsure how guests will react to them. The simplest answer is to be transparent and obvious in the cleaning practices being used within the restaurant. The use of screens between kiosks helps maintain a clear person-to-person barrier, and the more kiosks available, the shorted the queue for service will be.
Most kiosks are also really easy to sanitise these days. Some even have anti-bacterial screen coverings or come with attachments for gels, wipe or spray bottles, thus encouraging customers to clear the surface down before and after use. Staff can also play their part, cleaning screens if guests don’t.
For brands keen to invest in kiosks, it’s important to consider the software in use. If you’re using a mobile or web ordering solution as well as kiosk, you’ll want to find a provider that can supply an interface with a consistent look and feel. This will help customers feel comfortable, no matter which platform they choose, and will be less jarring if they frequently use a combination of software applications.
The size of a kiosk screen means the products in your digital menu can have more impact than when on smaller devices. Take that into consideration and invest in high quality photography that really sells a product; it will improve engagement and has the potential to increase your profits significantly.
Theravada has supplied kiosk solutions, ranging from tablet size devices, through the large free standing and wall mounted technologies. We can supply both the hardware and the software to suit your unique business needs and will take the time to offer you the right solution for your business and its customers. To talk to us about this in greater detail, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org